While the world discusses post-lockdown situations concerning Covid-19 restrictions in different countries, while the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary and is holding the United Nations General Assembly virtually for the first time, we send some news and background information on Faith and Development. Everything that our authors wrote in last editions has now become true. The world will never be the same. Quite a number of environmentalists have highlighted the positive effects that the COVID-19 pandemic might have on our planet, such as reduced CO2 emissions, new energy efficient economies emerging, Co2 neutral online conference gatherings, less smog in highly populated areas. But actually, the science on this is: due to COVID-19, there is only a slight reduction of greenhouse gas emissions since March 2020 but we need a constant 45% reduction of greenhouse gas emission if we are to reach the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Another reality that deeply concerns us is the level of domestic violence that continues to rise in numerable countries all over the world. As someone sadly stated: the children are losing out most due to the pandemic. We are thankful for the work of Arigatou International, an organization we present as our “Featured Actor” in this edition. While the outlook into a different future is certainly, to be quite frank, frightening, we spoke with someone who has seen, heard and experienced development politics, global crises and challenging situations for more years than many of us (we are guessing…). We had the privilege of talking to Prof. Dr. Michael Bohnet, who joined the German Ministry on Economic Cooperation in Development in 1973. As former General Director (retd.), Prof. Bohnet talked with us about the new 2030 Agenda of the German Ministry, a strategy plan, which implies major changes in German development cooperation, decreasing the number of partner countries for reasons of enhanced efficiency and more impact. Prof. Bohnet explained why he supports faith-based engagement in concrete project delivery in partner countries.

In our Religion Literacy Academy, we are honoured present a contribution by Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, the President of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, again another impressive example of faith-based engagement this time in Sri Lanka and based on Buddhist principles.


Stay healthy and keep safe. We wish you strength and success in your work and protection for you and the people around you,

Ulrich Nitschke


Department on Religion and Development

Lilian Kurz

Project Coordinator and Editor of the Faith in Development Monitor

Faith in Development Monitor (FiDM)

five categories - 500 seconds to read

Faith and existing belief systems do not receive enough attention in global development cooperation despite the fact that human development is inseparably interwoven with worldviews. Development is taking place in all societies and cultures which are deeply influenced by religions. At the same time, faith-based organizations are among the oldest and most influential actors in global and local development cooperation. The Faith in Development Monitor (1) illustrates the relevance of religion for international development cooperation, (2) increases religious literacy among practitioners and policymakers, and (3) comprehensively explains current developments in the field of "religion and development". We encourage readers and recipients to engage in dialogue with faith-based organizations.

Next Edition:

9 March 2021


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